Super Mario Sunshine – Disaster Strikes Pianta Village

I’m buggered. As soon as I heard the emergency call I shot my rocket nozzle straight towards Pianta Village. Taking advantage of the chaos, Shadow Mario stole my FLUDD backpack as I went through the pipe. Great. Doesn’t he get tired of ruining people’s lives?

Things have been tough ever since we arrived at Isle Delfino. I’ve been framed, thrown in jail, and treated like a criminal. Shadow Mario propaganda is all over town, and the Piantas all look at me in disgust. This was my chance to make things right.

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Super Mario 64 – Still Wallkicking

Good afternoon, Lakitu. It’s good to know that whether the year is 1996 or 2021, he’s still reporting live. Indeed times have changed, but this game really does still inspire a sense of wonder in its own little time capsule. I’ve started a new playthrough for the first time in years (in 3D All-Stars) and the experience has been so valuable I had to write about it. So many things about Super Mario 64 are still great, and its flaws make me thankful for where gaming is now.

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Project Triangle Strategy – Field Report

The last Nintendo Direct initiated a surprise attack. While Square-Enix is running Octopath Traveler into the ground with a low-budget mobile outsourced exclusive prequel cash-grab, the developers of the original game have moved onto a brand new project in what they call the “2D-HD” series. Project Triangle Strategy has a similar rich pixel art style to Octopath but the genre has shifted to strategy. Even though it’s not releasing until 2022, they dropped a juicy demo to give us a taste of war.

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Project Warlock – Shooty Newman McRetro

I’m here to play games and chew bubblegum, and I’m all out of retro-themed non-linear FPS games. Oh wait, just found one. Hold the bubblegum! I’ve got some GAMING to do.

Project Warlock immediately impresses with a crunchy badass guitar riff, with tons of options on the main menu to make you feel like you’re about to order an explosive meal at the Mayhem Diner. The gameplay feels right at home with other 90s FPS games like Doom or Duke Nukem 3D, but the graphics take some getting used to. Unlike other FPS that imitate this style in actual retro engines (like Ion Fury in Build), this game is made in the more modern engine Unity. It has a cel-shaded outline with more of a Minecraft or Dragon Quest feel. It took me a while to get used to, but it runs well and allows for some impressive lighting effects and colours that really pop like candy. Candy popcorn. Bubblegum you can swallow.

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Daylife in Japan – Lo-Fi Jigsaw Jams

This title stuck out to me while I was browsing the eShop in a daydream state. Daylife in Japan… yeah that’s somewhere I want to be. Oh, it’s a jigsaw puzzle game? I almost lost interest but after watching the trailer I was sold. It had a comfy animated pixel art street vibe and the music was relaxing and thoughtful. Perfect. It’s not often I would buy a game on the aesthetic presentation alone, but for $1.50 why not?

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Balan Wonderworld – Demo of Broken Dreams

Wow! This demo kicks off with an incredulous wonderful high-budget CG intro. Kids have discovered a magical realm where all their dreams can come true! The magician is overwhelmingly energetic in his motions to sweep you off your feet to a brand new world with infinite possibilities. His design is a bit creepy, but that just enhances the sense that he’s an otherworldly magical being. You can’t see all the possibilities in life until you cut two eyeholes in your hat. This brand new 3D platformer by Yuji Naka, creator of Sonic the Hedgehog, NiGHTS and Billy Hatcher, was shaping up to be an exciting prospect.

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Timespinner – ChronoTriggerVania

What if you could travel back in time and warn humanity about global warming, pandemics, toxic waste and growing oppressive capitalism? That’s right… nobody would listen and you’d be thrown in a mental ward with bad conditions. But what if you also had platforming skills and magic?! Heck yeah, you could just solve the problem yourself! In Timespinner we’re about to do exactly that.

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Whipseey and the Lost Atlas – Good Enough

Whoopsee, the word you say when you’ve just bought a one dollar eShop game and the existential guilt washes over you. Oh sorry, I meant to say Whipseey. Everything is fine here. We’re jumping right into the depths of the Nintendo Switch library now. I love platformers so I took the plunge on this when it was on sale for a dollar. Aesthetically it looks like a Kirby clone but the feel is more like a Game Boy Mario game if he had a whip. This game has 5 worlds so I’m going to make this review 5 paragraphs.

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The Crown Tundra – Lost in the Land of Snom

We’re almost there Bolty, there’s gotta be a town nearby… it says right here on the map “Freezington”. Or was it just freezing a ton? This map is a bit worn… and not even filled in properly. That tree looks a bit like a rude object. The person at the train station said it wasn’t far though. It’s getting colder but when we find shelter I’ll make you some nice soup, Bolty. Oops, bumped into a trainer, sorry mate. I swear sometimes it’s like they teleport out of nowhere. Nah, just the thick snow. Can you tell me how to get to Freezington? They didn’t answer but gave me a packet of hot sauce and ran away. Okay, bye. Hmmm, maybe English isn’t the native language? I gave Boltund the sauce and we kept going. We were on our last legs when finally…

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Pikmin 3 Deluxe – New Technology Discovered

A mysterious object has been spotted and gathered by the Pikmin. It appears to be a flat device with removable parts. Analysis shows this technology has potential, but we are unsure how to harness it yet. It could not produce new Pikmin when thrown in the onion, but perhaps we could use it to enhance our ship.

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Bulletstorm – Digital Bubblegum

It’s raining bullets, better grab my brella. Okay, now I’m ready to chew gum AND type into this nostalgic postbox. Can you believe people used keyboards to send messages in 2020? It was the first form of writing according to the credible historians of 2600. Ah yes, information has gotten much more accurate with media advancements.

Here goes… *publish*. I’ll set the date 600 years backwards and hope for the best. Pietriots.com? Yeah, that place is probably still going.

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Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition – Life on the Bionis

Good morning. I feel like I’ve been asleep for the last 10 years. I had convinced myself this was a game, but the intricate detail of the shadows convinced me this place was real after all. The rest of my life was a dream. The world wasn’t round or flat, we lived on the organic ecosystem of a defeated titan. My memories of wielding the Monado still lingered in black and white, but now it was time to fill them back up like an old colouring book. Just being back in Colony 9 was enough to feel energised with purpose.

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Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles – Online Border Patrol

Can you believe it?! Crystal Chronicles is finally being released with online and cross-play! Yay! This extremely unique GameCube game that once required 4 Game Boy Advance to play is now becoming accessible with modern technology. Well, that’s what we thought.

In a throwback to the PAL days where people in Australia and Europe gamed on 50hz TVs out of technical necessity, Square-Enix has decided to bring back that restrictive nostalgia by region locking this game online. I live in Australia and this is what happened when I tried to play with my friend in the USA.

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GRID Autosport – Online Class of 2020

The online patch has now arrived on Nintendo Switch! I’ve been playing it for a few weeks now, and thought it was a good time to do another writeup on it with the game currently on sale in Nintendo’s eShop Multiplayer promotion. You can read more about the game itself in my previous writeup here, but this one will be strictly about the online. Who’s ready to drive safely and considerately into the first corner with me? Nah? Okay well, I’ll spend the next few paragraphs catching you up.

u wot m8

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Journey to the Savage Planet – New Lease on Life

Good morning. What year is it?

I fell asleep on Earth and now I’ve woken up after an unknown number of years, alert and refreshed. Kindred Technologies are just the best, aren’t they? They call themselves the “4th best” space exploration company, but they really speak to me as a normal human being. I didn’t have much to live for so I signed up for their “experiment”. The year was 2034 and I got myself into 5 million dollars of debt from working too much and… wait, is that how working is supposed to work? I’ve never had the time or energy to think about it. Anyway, I’ve been given an opportunity to redeem myself by being launched towards a random planet in an experiment to find a habitable environment for humans. I was feeling lucky and sure enough, managed to land somewhere in one piece. Let’s see what this place is all about.

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